COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - Officials at the South Carolina State Fair say the new policy implemented this year requiring fairgoers under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian for admission at night will likely be permanent.
The policy was put into effect because groups of youths were roaming the fairgrounds and causing problems.
State Fair Manager Gary Goodman says the restrictions are unfortunate, but they're needed.
“It's a situation that is not going to go away,” Goodman says. “It's something that we're going to have to be diligent on and monitor it and if it requires that we tighten the policy up even more in the future, then that's what we're going to do because we can't have that type of activity out here so we're going to make the fair as safe as we possibly can.”
The State Fair wrapped up Sunday with more than 472,718 in attendance during this year's event – 20,000 more than last year.
Goodman says more people came from outside Columbia and from out-of-state, including the Augusta and Charlotte areas, which the fair has been marketing to.
He says he's heard many positive comments on the three free concerts featured this year.
“That's been embraced extremely well, along with our regular paid grandstand shows. So the grandstand has been very strong this year along with the attractions that we've changed up.”
The State Fair presented a wide range of new programs such as College Day, the Indie Grits 48-Hour Film Blitz and the hiring of more local entertainment talent.